A new, high-energy show draws visitors to the city's Gastown district

Experiencing the newest attraction in Vancouver, BritishColumbia, is a bit like having a really terrific dream. And this isone dream not to be missed. Storyeum (10-5 Wed-Sun; $17 U.S.; 142 Water St.; www.storyeum.com or800/687-8142) plunges you into a vivid journey through theprovince’s history via a lively combination of actors, film clips,storytelling, and theater. So many people, images, and effects passby that, when the 70-minute trip is over, visitors are left feelinglike they’ve experienced a play, movie, and time capsule all atonce.

It’s appropriate that Storyeum is in the heart of Vancouver’shistoric Gastown neighborhood. Cast-cobblestone streets are linedwith historic buildings, most built between 1886 and 1914, whichhave been restored and turned into art galleries, restaurants, andshops.

Images for a Canadian Heritage (164 Water; www.imagesforcanada.comor 604/685-7046), a local gallery, brings Storyeum highlightsto life with displays of exquisite native carvings, sculptures, andpaintings. And a few blocks away, Button Button (closed Sun; 422 W. Cordova St.; 604/687-0067) will have youconvinced that buttons are an art form.

Nearby landmarks include the statue of John Deighton, aka GassyJack (probably because he was famous for talking a lot), for whomGastown was named. The statue is at the intersection of Water,Carrall, and Powell Streets, across from the Europe Hotel. Thisskinny, pie-shaped 1909 building was later refurbished asaffordable housing. Also be sure to walk past the steam clock, atCambie and Water Streets.

When you’ve built up an appetite, head to the Steamworks BrewingCo. ($; 375 Water; www.steamworks.com or604/689-2739). It makes about 15 different brews every year,including local favorites Nirvana Nutbrown and Lions Gate Lager.Dishes complement hearty appetites ― try a blue-cheese burgeror a salmon fillet with honey-and-cumin glaze. Gassy Jack was asaloon keeper as well as a prospector, so a cool beer seems like anappropriate finish to a visit of his old haunts.

To Gastown

Vancouver, B.C.’s Gastown neighborhood is a four-block area justeast of downtown. It’s bounded by Richards St., Abbott St., BurrardInlet, and Cordova St. Contact Tourism Vancouver (www.tourismvancouver.comor 604/683-2000).

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